Wednesday 17 July 2024

HelpHound - your business's long-term reviews solution

This blog contains over a million words covering every aspect of online reviews. In this article, we will summarise the outcomes our clients experience, and those that your business will experience should it join the HelpHound family. Throughout the article and in the summary we will provide links to other articles enabling you to examine everything in exactly the amount of detail you wish.  

Why bother with reviews at all?

It is now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that achieving a score of 4.8 or more from 100+ Google reviews...

In addition such a score and its underlying reviews...

    • enable many more sales to be closed    
    • provide highly credible PR and marketing ammunition  

In both a B2B and a B2C environment.


The single biggest - and most valid - objection to proactively inviting reviews

Fear. Fear that someone will write an unfairly critical or factually inaccurate review (you may run a perfect business, but we all know perfect businesses can have imperfect customers). The problem with reviews is that those most likely - and most motivated - to write reviews are those least satisfied with the product or service they are reviewing, often for all the wrong reasons (remember the loyal BMW owner who bought his first automatic, then wrote a 1* review saying the car wouldn't move when the 'N' - for 'night-time' - position was selected?). With products this isn't terminal - the odd 1* review of a shirt or a mobile phone won't put most consumers off buying them. But a well-written 1* review of a professional service business can be very damamging indeed. 

And that's exactly why almost every business in this category has adopted one of the following three approaches. 

    • They have avoided the subject of reviews altogether


7+ years in business and not a single review


    • They have gone down the review site route

Thousands of reviews on a review site, but few/none on Google

    • They have - knowingly or (mostly) unwittingly - flouted the CMA regulations and only invited selected customers to post reviews

97 reviews in 15+ years? Less than one every two months? Prima facie evidence of cherry-picking, contrary to the CMA's core regulations

The problem with each of these 'solutions' is that...

    • In the case of 'avoiding reviews altogether': the business is missing out on all the benefits of being proactive (more inbound enquiries, enhanced SEO, great marketing and closing material and so on)
    • In the case of 'adopting a review site': far less visibility and credibility than Google reviews
    • In the case of 'flouting the CMA regulations': sacrificing long-term security for short-term gain

But given that there is a solution that gives a business all the benefits listed under 'Why bother?' Without any of the downsides - with costs comparable to the commenrcial review sites, then no business need concern itself with any of these problematic so-called solutions.

How so?

In a word? Moderation. Moderation - the act of having each review read before publication so errors of fact or misleading statements have a great chance of being corrected, for the benefit of everyone concerned.

In conclusion

Every professional and service business has everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose by adopting professional review management. We are so confident that we can guarantee this. In addition, there is no contract period; again, reflecting the confidence we have in the effectiveness of our service. 

Search for this business: first do a local search - 'estate agent Kingsbury' and see how it ranks amongst the many similar businesses in its area. Here's one we made today - first the three-pack...

...then organic - natural - search...

Note how the stars - and the accompanying 'rating' and 'votes' - reinforce the business's top rank in search. Many - most? - consumers mistake those stars as some kind of award from Google when they are actually derived from the business's own reviews on its own website...

Hosting reviews on the business's own website has many benefits beside the most obvious: giving visitors to the website arguably the best reason to call or click. It supports the business's SEO (wonder why this business ranks so high?) and shows potential clients how transparent the business is - a valuable asset when in competition with businesses that are, shall we say, less transparent in the way they collect reviews?

So, our recommendation? Join and see the impact HelpHound will make for your business. We provide clients with full-on and off-site support to ensure a successful outcome (HelpHound is much more than just a tech solution). The business above had three - just 3 - Google reviews when it joined. Imagine being one of its competitors today? 

Further reading

  • Results - more leads and a higher conversion rate, not to mention higher quality business 
  • Compliance - boring but important. Non-compliance exposes a business to a) sanction by the CMA and b) exposure by competitors
  • Moderation - without which few professional businesses would consider exposing their hard-won reputations to the world of Google reviews


Wednesday 3 July 2024

Getting reviews - to your own website and to Google: a Guide

This guide was first published nearly ten years ago. Interestingly, it is still current. And we still give it to every new client, with the simple injunction: 'Follow this and you will succeed'.


That last 'Tip' - we call it 'the 50% rule' - may well, alongside the injunction to 'pick up the phone', be the most important: every one of our clients that follows it succeeds.


The results - what should your business expect?